If you've been waiting to check out your provincial website to see if it lives up to the best, a Stratford Institute study released on April 18th has cut the legwork on that project significantly.

British Columbia takes the top spot for its eGovernment initiatives, namely  providing the best online services and information for its citizens.

Residents of Alberta will be happy to know that their province took the runners-up honour, while Ontarians can raise a cheer, if they choose, for a third place finish.

The provincial website evaluation, a first-ever, was commissioned by the Stratford Institute with help from Brainmaven Research.

"We undertook this study to provide a snapshot in time of our provincial governments' adoption rate of digital media to inform and interact with citizens," said Ian Wilson, Executive Director of The Stratford Institute.

Wilson continues: "While the results demonstrate considerable adoption of best practices, there is still room for improvement in mobile connectivity and social media engagement, given only a handful of provincial governments have fully optimized the technology available."

Government officials in charge of information presented to citizens can use this as a benchmark for improvement and perhaps reach out to fellow residents to ask how their province's online presence can be improved to serve them better.

The study indicates that B.C. placed number one because of its customer-centric approach in providing online services, sharing online information, and encouraging online engagement. Alberta's site makes the best use of social media, including unique tools within Facebook and Twitter and Ontario's website excelled at categorizing and summarizing information so that citizens could process it quickly and easily.

Kevin Tuer, Managing Director of the Canadian Digital Media Network (CDMN) said, "A study of this scope aids in identifying strengths, rectifying weaknesses, and changing ways of thinking and behaving that ultimately contribute to advancing the Moonshot goal of the upcoming CDMN Canada 3.0 2012 forum , where the goal is for Canadians to be able to do anything online by 2017."

Check out the complete study at: www.stratfordinstitute.ca .

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